Moderating role of coping in the association between minority stress and suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among sexual and gender minority young adults

Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2022 Dec;52(6):1178-1192. doi: 10.1111/sltb.12913. Epub 2022 Sep 2.


Objective: This study examined associations of minority stressors (i.e., victimization, internalized homonegativity, and stigma consciousness), and coping styles (i.e., active, avoidant, and passive) with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts (suicidality) among sexual and gender minority (SGM) young adults, and whether coping style moderated these associations.

Methods: Logistic regression analyses examined these associations among 1432 SGM young adults (ages 18-29).

Results: Minority stressors and passive coping were associated with a higher likelihood of suicidality. Avoidant coping was associated with a lower likelihood of lifetime suicidal ideation and attempts among sexual minority participants, and active coping with a lower likelihood of past-year suicidal ideation among sexual minority participants. Moderation analyses among sexual minority participants showed that when avoidant coping was high, associations between low victimization (compared with no victimization) and lifetime suicide attempts, and stigma consciousness and lifetime suicide attempts became non-significant, and the association between internalized homonegativity and lifetime suicide attempts became significant. Among gender minority participants, when passive coping was high the association between low victimization and lifetime suicidal ideation became significant.

Conclusion: This study underlines the importance of minority stress and coping for suicidality among SGM young adults and the need for more research regarding the role of coping.

Keywords: coping; minority stress; sexual and gender minority; suicidality; young adults.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bullying*
  • Humans
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities*
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Suicide, Attempted
  • Young Adult